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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Apr 9, 2013 1:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CALLING GoP!!!

WT,I don't think GOP will see wasting his time on the likes of me as time well spent.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 9, 2013 2:09pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: CALLING GoP!!!

Oh, well--he could cite a prior thread or two perhaps? All I know is he sent me 10 disks (!!!) of Pig's best material, and it was impressive, though it was not "vocals" (as LiA notes) that necessarily defined "best" for him (as you note, often they--Pig songs--provide a vehicle for jams, like H2H, and LL, etc).

Anyhoo, seems like some folks here provide a few tunes for you to consider; as mentioned, though, he was NOT making it, duh, on his singing, and yet, like LiA, I prefer him to any Bob efforts post 72 or so (seriously, I really agree w LiA on that pt about Bob).

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Apr 9, 2013 6:16pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: What the fuck you want, Tell?

jerlouvis. Actually, I can understand your perspective. Pig was no Sinatra--or whomever one might choose as a great crooner. What he had was a style that worked well in the band at that period. Sure, he could be off key, muff the words, be misogynistic, long winded, obscene, and he wouldn't have fit in to the post '72 style. Point taken.

Rather, I would say that he needed to be seen as well as heard. Hell, if all I knew of this band were tapes, I wouldn't be all that impressed--they could all be sloppy. And there's different tastes.

But in the beginning, he was as authentic as any white blues singer. He held an audience--as well as Garcia. He pushed the band--I listen to Lovelights for the jams. And H2H--Tell and I (in particular) like to yank each others' dicks over the "best" one--but what we debate is the music he touched off. Smokestack Lightning--now there he moaned fantastically and got the boys to cry with him.

But again, I'm sorry if you did not get the chance to see him. It does make a difference. And, also again, I'm sorry if you missed those times when everyone was just having fun. Remember--it started with the acid tests.

Pig was just part of the Dead--but he was an integral part to the SHOW. Remember--he gets one song each on the first l.p, none on AOXOMOXOA, one each on Workingman's and Beauty, Skullfuck, and E 72. The band didn't see him as the studio crooner. He was a live show--there's that word again.
When it was Pig time, things kicked up a few notches. And those "boring" Lovelights were often the highlight of the SHOW.

But I (gasp) don't disagree. I like the other stuff better--musically. And with Pig, I settle into the playing. But in that era between 1966 and 1972, there was no one who could touch him for what he did.

In the end, it's a matter of taste--what era you liked, what song styles you liked, sound, keyboardist, etc. Me, I grew up on the Pig days. I feel blessed.

If you can try to respect my likes and dislikes, I can certainly respect yours.

Otherwise, anything post 1972 is dogshit. (Truth is, love this and that from then and there. Crazy Fingers, Althea--beautiful stuff).

And Tell--4/29 you old motherfucker.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 9, 2013 7:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

Ha--right back at ya, old man!

;)

And, as I always blather on about, my two older bros defn agreed w you--the DEAD were his band in those early yrs when they saw them regularly (66-68), even if they never did fall under the spell as I did a few yrs later...

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Apr 9, 2013 7:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

Well, they freely asserted that it was his idea to go electric. You saw him though, right?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Apr 10, 2013 7:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

No, B; not really--my first real show was 74. Yikes--two yrs post-expiration! Well, your date anyhoo.

Was in the car, in GGPk when the parents dropped the (again) elder brothers off to see them, and they explained the sounds were being generated by the DEAD, but that doesn't really count, eh? I know my parents were in NO way comforted by the name of the band as their HS/coll age kids wandered into the mass of humanity; but I was only 10 (67 or so).

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Apr 10, 2013 2:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

It counts as you have memories of the sights and smells if not the sounds.

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Apr 9, 2013 7:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

I really do have a full understanding of the range of Pigpen's talents short of having seen him perform which may very well be to my detriment.I'm not expecting Sinatra,but consistently being off key,out of time and muffing the words are not sought after qualities in a singer.Since all I have is a taped legacy I generally find his vocal performances lacking,that's not to say I don't enjoy many of the songs he sang on.I have absolutely no qualms with a long,raunchy Lovelight rife with obscenity,I draw the line when he get's misogynistic.

While I can't say I have a lot of respect for what he represented or his skill set I certainly respect anyone's right to like or dislike whatever they chose.

I was kidding with WT and really hoped you wouldn't feel compelled to join in this,but I appreciate that you would take some time to weigh in with some words of wisdom.



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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Apr 10, 2013 7:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

One quick comment: he owned us so much that we didn't notice his flaws--or rather, we LIKED them! Maybe that doesn't speak highly of us. I dunno. But it does speak to his presence.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Apr 9, 2013 8:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

Lots of good points -- one thing that strikes me is that since "it started with the acid tests," to say the SHOW and "showman" might be accurate but also not quite the perfect words, and those of us who didn't see him might misinterpret it a bit. It can give the impression of a pre-packaged feeling, like Madonna or Michael Jackson or Gaga or something, which is the opposite of the Dead vibe. (I'm sure there were hundreds of equivalents in the 60s of people who aimed to have SHOWs.)

But from what I can tell from what you've said (and others who saw him), he was a "showman" not in a packaged sense but in an "experience" sense. I'm guessing the feeling was a bit edgy and anything-can-happen and raunchy fun, bringing the barroom onto the stage. He was a raw, upfront character who'd suddenly come to the fore and carry the whole place on a wild roll that was very different than the psychedelic weirdness.

Clearly a lot of those who saw him never forgot it.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Apr 9, 2013 9:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

A lot of people who saw the Dead in the '60s asserted that Pigpen was the true star of the show. I think that element of showmanship is part of it - the rest of the band could jam all night, & maybe some of that would fly over people's heads, but then Pigpen would come up & strut & engage the audience on a more primal level.
It's more than evident to me that the true vibe of Pigpen only came from seeing him; just hearing him on tape, we're getting only part of the package. What's on tape doesn't entirely explain those ecstatic Fillmore audiences clapping along & cheering him.

But the other thing is the music - we're talking about Pigpen the singer, but really all he had to do was deliver some competent vocals & then step out of the way. Without Midnight Hour, Lovelight, Same Thing, or Caution, let alone many of the blues covers like Smokestack or Schoolgirl, the early Dead would have been a much narrower outfit - not to mention pieces they expanded in '70-71 like Good Lovin', Hard to Handle or Easy Wind. A lot of great Dead music wouldn't have been played without him, which I think is a more important testament than how well he could sing or copy the classic blues vocals.

To digress a bit, Ghostofpig favors the 4/14/72 Good Lovin', and Europe '72 has some great examples but my own favorite is 4/25/71 (on the Ladies & Gentlemen CD) which also has a perfect marriage of rap & music, if you don't mind the story content. Interestingly, the Good Lovin' the next night (4/26/71) is without any rap & takes a different, more pounding approach.

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Poster: ghostofpig Date: Apr 10, 2013 7:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: What the fuck you want, Tell?

Shaman, then.

Look: here's the problem, as it were. The dead were always an experience, and the live shows were meant to be seen and felt and heard. 3-D. They never thought that so many people would be collecting these tapes 40-50 years later.

As a traveling band, and one that kept growing night after night, they played similar shows from '76 onward--the suites, new introductions, etc. There was no thought that the audience was the same every night. So if Pig closed with Lovelight, it was a treat because you might not see them again for a year or more. Even in NYC, where I saw thirty shows between '67-72--they might come once or twice a year--though for several nights at a time--and then, the shows didn't always vary that much. The Felt Forum run was meant to introduce new songs, the Academy run duplicates a lot--which is all good and fine.

But you have ten zillion tapes available, and that can be like having ten zillion vanilla ice cream cones. And it sucks if you don't like vanilla.

The point is this: yes, we've all heard too many Pig raps. But back then you wouldn't. Second, you would be THERE--seeing in 3-D--the vibe, the audience, the jams, the way Pig looked and carried on--yes, Althea, a show. And damn if that wasn't what we wanted.

Pig the misogynist--vulgar. Oh come on. Groupie Bob. Jerry dumping girlfriends by proxy. They all treated people like shit. Pig, though, perhaps ironically, least of all. He didn't fight like Kreutzman or the crew.

I think there's a misconception about hippies and hippie bands. That myth is just that--a myth. Most so-called hippies were self-concerned assholes who were out for a good time. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The Dead were not about peace and love and women's lib. Far from it. I remember the Hell's Angel's benefit with Bo Diddly at the Academy in '72. The Manhattan Angels were horrors--they hated hippies. When I saw all the bikes lined up in from of the theater, I thought about leaving. As Hendrix once said, "Peace and love and all that other bullshit."

This groovy love band thing is simply not true. They were a great eclectic morphing outfit who were concerned about the music, and they were concerned about the show. Pig Pen would not have fit in after '72, but before that, he was the boiler room that fired up the train. When he took the mike, the room changed. You just can't capture that on tape.
It's like being at the Super Bowl and watching the Super Bowl. You're getting only about 20% of the show. Mind you, 20% of the Dead is a lot. But how many of you write that your favorite shows were the ones that you attended? Or the tape doesn't do it justice? The whole was more than notes on a guitar. Why do we hope that someday film will emerge?

I guess you had to be there (God, what an experience). And you still might not have liked Pig or whomever--which is fine. But you'd know the whole and not just part. And that whole was mighty fine in these eyes.

Don't get me wrong. Seeing the band after '72 had similar effects--different band, different show. But the scene, the people, the parking lot, all that stuff plus the show--still valid, just different. I didn't care for the crowds or the sound post '76--but sometimes I stream a suggested show (I know whom I trust on these matters!), and I like this and that. I love certain songs--Crazy Finger, Althea, Mission in the Rain come to mind. I still love the fact that we are lucky to HAVE tapes.

But I love that McKernan fellow best of all.


This post was modified by ghostofpig on 2013-04-10 14:24:27